Simpson denies lying, abuse Tells of feeling suicidal during Bronco pursuit

  Jonathan T. Lovitt ; Richard Price


  USA Today


  Page 03A

  (Copyright 1997)


  SANTA MONICA, Calif. -- O.J. Simpson completed testimony at his

  wrongful-death civil trial Monday, steadfastly denying he so much as struck his

  ex-wife even when confronted with a letter in which she wrote that he ``beat the

  holy hell out of me.''


  Lawyers for the plaintiffs, the families of murder victims Nicole Brown Simpson

  and Ronald Goldman, introduced the letter during a 90-minute cross-examination

  focused on proving Simpson to be a liar.


  During his direct testimony on Friday and Monday morning, Simpson said that

  he ``never lied about anything important.''


  But Goldman family lawyer Daniel Petrocelli opened his cross-examination by

  forcing a concession from Simpson that he had committed adultery.


  In that context, Petrocelli said, ``You have lied repeatedly, haven't you?''

  Simpson denied it, arguing that while infidelity was ``dishonest, I don't know if I

  would characterize it as a lie.''


  Later, Petrocelli brought up the letter.


  That provoked angry objections from Simpson lawyer Robert Baker, who fought

  to keep it out of evidence.


  Although addressed to him, Simpson said he never received the undated letter

  and suggested it was written as a failed effort by Nicole to dissolve their

  prenuptial agreement before their divorce.


  Judge Hiroshi Fujisaki allowed the letter, but told jurors they could not consider

  it fact but only an indication of Nicole's state of mind.


  One part of the letter referred to a September 1985 incident in which Nicole went

  to the hospital with a head injury.


  ``There was also that time . . . you beat the holy hell out of me,'' the letter said.

  ``And we lied at the X-ray lab and said I fell off a bike.''


  The letter also discusses a New Year's Eve 1989 ``beat-up'' for which Simpson

  was convicted of spousal battery.


  ``I called the cops to save my life,'' Nicole wrote. ``I've never loved you since.''

  However, another letter from her introduced at this trial had her pledging him her



  Petrocelli also pressed Simpson about 30 pictures that appear to show him

  wearing Bruno Magli shoes that match bloody footprints at the murder scene.

  Simpson again denied owning the shoes.


  Earlier, he choked back tears as he recounted events surrounding the murders.

  His voice cracked when recalling his slow-speed chase riding with a gun in the

  Bronco of his friend, Al Cowlings.


  ``I was in a lot of pain. I was missing Nicole, and my kids didn't cry. . . . I asked

  him to take me to Nicole's grave. I was feeling a lot of pain . . . I just felt, I

  guess, suicidal,'' Simpson said.


  The day's last question came from Baker: ``On June 12, 1994, did you . . .

  murder your ex-wife and leave her body where the kids could find it?''


  Simpson's reply: ``No, absolutely not.''






  On her anger: ``I'd like you to keep this letter if we split, so that you'll always

  know why we split. I'd also like you to keep it if we stay together, as a reminder.


  ``Right now I am so angry! If I didn't know that the courts would take Sydney &

  Justin away from me if I did this . . . I would f--- every guy including some that

  you know just to let you know how it feels.''


  On fidelity: ``I see our marriage as a huge mistake. . . . I knew what went on in

  our relationship before we got married. I knew after 6 years that all the things I

  thought were going on -- were! All the things I gave in to -- all the `I'm sorry for

  thinking that' `I'm sorry for not believing you' -- `I'm sorry for not trusting you.'


  ``I made up with you all the time & even took the blame many times for your

  cheating. I know this took place because we fought about it a lot & even

  discussed it before we got married with my family & a minister.''


  On pregnancy: ``I thought it was finally gonna be you + me -- you wanted a baby

  (so you said) & I wanted a baby . . . then with each pound you were terrible.

  You gave me dirty looks looks of disgust -- said mean things to me at times

  about my appearance walked out on me & lied.''


  ``Then came the pregnancy with Justin + oh how wonderfully you treated me

  again -- I remember swearing to God + myself that under no circumstances

  would I let you be in that delivery room. I hated you so much.''


  On trust: ``It's just so hard for me to trust you again. Even though you say you're

  a different guy. That O.J. Simpson guy brought me a lot of pain heartache -- I

  tried so hard with him -- I wanted so to be a good wife. But he never gave me a